What’s the best area in Bristol?

It’s definitely not Fishponds

Bristol is a wonderful city, and going to uni here is a brilliant experience. It’s got the best nightlife in the country and the best student experience, and there are loads of very different areas to live in. When starting to think about houses in First year, there’s a lot of confusion about where to live. One of your mates will suggest a ten bed palace in Redland, and say that their mate at a different uni had the sickest time living with a large group, but eventually that will probably fall apart, and you’ll stick with a group of five like everyone else.

Stokes Croft

Stokes Croft, the drug-related crime capital of probably anywhere, is a handful on any day of the week. During the day-time, crackheads lie left right and centre clutching cans from the night before, and as soon as night falls the area comes alive. The Lakota queue stretches past the club, the fried chicken shops start kicking people out for being fucked, and the world seems to revolve around ‘The Best Supermarket’, as it’s the last place you can buy baccy and Buckfast at 4am. If you can handle it, Stokes Croft is the best area in Bristol.

A cool fresher steals a cone next to the Stokes Croft mural


Bishopston has the perfect balance of all things Bristol: the pubs are great (obviously you miss Anchor Thursdays), it’s fairly quiet, it’s pretty, and there are enough Co-ops to feed an army. For a relatively residential area, Bishopston is a serious amount of fun, making it the best area in Bristol.



You’re either renting a flat on Whiteladies Road, or an anonymous 6 bedroom house in a family area for the almost-Clifton postcode. Your Uber XL back from the Triangle on a Monday night is only £6 between all of you. There’s an abundance of bicycle themed cafés for you to whip out your Macbook Air, revise for your Philosophy exam, and sip on Matcha Lattés. To be fair, you wish you lived in Clifton Village. But at least your rent isn’t £600 a month. And the 16 and 72 buses can eventually get you to places where all the houses don’t look the same.

City Centre

If you don’t live in halls, city centre accommodation is damn expensive. For that sweet sweet sought after BS1 postcode you’re going to be sacrificing a lot of cash unless of course, you live in a dingy second-floor hovel just south of the river. Living in the city centre is dangerous game, with Marketgate slap-bang in the middle, and all the largest clubs just a drunk stagger away from your door it’s almost impossible to say no to any night out, or even day out for this sake. No excuses will ever work and you’re pretty much obliged to be a full time alcoholic. Marketgate and Phoenix Court are the epicentre of BS1 and fully represent Bristol for what it really is; an absolute dream.



If you live in Clifton as a student, you’re either loaded, pretentious, or worse, both. All your friends moved elsewhere, but you still couldn’t bare to slum it with the rest of the peasants in Horfield. Of course, Mummy and Daddy will ensure you don’t go hungry with weekly Ocado shops delivered straight to your top floor apartment with an extraordinary view of the suspension bridge, the whole of Bristol’s dog-walking community in close vicinity. Once the novelty of getting the occasional train to other parts of the city wears off  you’ll be so bored of Clifton that you’ll end up dropping out of uni in your first year, falling back on your trust fund, and then marrying rich and moving to Exeter to have three children and a Labrador.

It is beaut here to be fair


Obviously, Filton is close to UWE which is really handy (if you’re keen on going there). The end of it where it meets Gloucester Road is even fairly nice, but at the end of the day, Filton is Filton, and that means it’s shit. It’s grey, its miserable, and if you’re one of the lucky ones that didn’t fall for the cheap rent here, the only time you’ll ever have to have Filton inflicted on you is when you get the bus through it.

One of Filton’s fine establishments


Cotham looks like Clifton, but has the proximity to Gloucester Road and therefore decent pubs and clubs to stay fun. It’s sleepy and residential, and most importantly pretty, so living here is like being at a parent’s house where you can smoke inside and drink rather than going to lectures. However, one of the main downsides to Cotham is having to live in close proximity to the sour students that couldn’t afford Clifton. Most of the locals are alright but every now and again you’ll get that judgemental look for wearing an Adidas jumper in such a middle-class area.


If you live in Fishponds it’s probably because you couldn’t find anywhere else. Convenient for those who need to see a doctor or get a KFC sure, but wouldn’t you rather commute from somewhere along Gloucester Road instead? It’s horrendous, and it’s miles away from anything decent. Sorry if you ended up having to live there, you won’t look back on it fondly.


Undoubtedly one of the most infamous Bristol postcode. Halfway between town and uni, Horfield is the perfect place for those in-between lot that can’t decide if they’re taking uni seriously or if they’re just here to fuck about. Consequently, what was once a quiet residential area just off Gloucester Road, is now completely overrun with students. You can guarantee that pretty much all of them lived in Student Village in first year and have now somehow managed to recreate that vibe with everyone less than a 5-minute walk from each other. Horfield has the best house parties, the fittest people and the 70 bus, so it’s a win whichever way you look at it.

One of the marvels of Horfield

Stoke Park

First year was the best year of your life. You don’t even care that you’re paying the same rent as city centre. It’s worth it so you can go to the SU every week and pretend you’re a fresher. True, you get lost walking around the maze of small houses, but you get to live next to one of the nicest parks in the country.